Budget reconciliation: you’ve heard about it in the news for weeks and now it’s here.
What’s this all about? In a nutshell, Democrats are attempting to pass a partisan, $3.5 trillion spending package chocked full of socialist policies which will be the largest expansion of the federal government since the expansion of the federal government under Lyndon Johnson. This week, portions of the legislation were brought up before two committees I serve on. To quote former Senator Dirksen: “a billion here and a billion there and pretty soon you’re talking real money!”
For reasons unknown to the rest of America, House Democrats are actively trying to shut down our oil, gas and mineral mining, all of which is necessary for our independence and our economy. I fought back with a series of amendments that I detail below. But they have the majority for the moment. If you are paying more at the lumber store, the gas station, airplane tickets, beef and groceries, there are reasons why: the Democrats are shutting down or otherwise making it hard to provide necessary commodities. We will all face shortages and high prices because of their insanity.
For example, the House Committee on Natural Resources considered roughly $25 billion in new spending and $6 billion in new taxes on oil, gas and mining. Opposing this outlandish spending package, I offered several amendments including:
- An amendment to prevent more than 1 million acres in Northern Arizona from be closed off to mining and economic opportunity.
- An amendment to strike the “Dirt Tax” fee on each ton of dirt moved in the process of mining on federal lands.
- An amendment preventing minerals discovered and mapped by U.S. taxpayer dollars in Afghanistan from being traded in support of the terrorists in Afghanistan.
- An amendment to improve domestic hard rock mineral supply chains and promote American mining and mineral security.
- An amendment to improve wind, solar, and geothermal production on federal lands and to establish a revenue sharing structure with counties.
Meanwhile, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform considered another $7.5 billion in new spending. For the most part, Democrats once again attempted ram through its Green New Deal socialist agenda.
Included in this spending plan was a pathetic effort to fix the massive veteran records backlog at the National Archives and Records Administration. Unfortunately, Democrats simply threw another $60 million at the issue rather than offer substantive policy changes that would address the problem. To push back on this ridiculous “solution,” I offered an amendment that would cut funding for Green New Deal programs, including providing new vehicles to bureaucrats and repurpose those funds to help the National Archives and Records Administration provide better service to veterans.